Over the course of the last century, many psychologists and therapists have conducted field studies in how music helps the brain in certain areas, whether it is for recovery or set a specific mood. Today we will discuss how it can be a potential tool to aid sleeping and assist you in regaining a the benefits from a good night of sleep.
The brain is highly influenced by the sound frequencies it is surrounded, for example, pop music has been proven to aid in generating feelings of positive and happy feelings, some genres that use a faster pace (Such as electronic music or trap) can be helpful while working out or staying awake during a long night of stressful work and maintain yourself at a calm and steady pace, music itself also influences the body, for example, electronic music which is written in 128 BPM can help blood flow and will tune with the heart’s natural beat.
Of course, today we will observe the opposite situation in which we seek the possibility to aid our brain to rest and sleep, the studies that have been conducted go as low as piano music that plays at 60 BPM to help you fall asleep.
The most crucial elements for a piece of music to aid in this are the following:
- Ideal 98 BPM.- Through the course of several studies by different analytic groups have concluded that the ideal BPM (Beats Per Minute) is 98 to not only help you fall asleep, but dictate the mind and the body that you are in a state of comfort and relaxation.
A lot of tracks that go at this BPM in classical, Neo classical, Jazz and Funk Music even tend to generate a sense of trance, but there is a few other key factors to make a song sit in the tracks of becoming a tool of relaxation and sleeping.
- The Right Instrument.- The best instrument to generate a sense of calmness and release anxiety and stress and aid the mind in relaxing is the piano, this is because the piano has all the frequencies (from the low deep notes to the high pitched ones) that can compose and create a sense of uniformity all on its own, one clear of example of this can be found in the Chopin Nocturnes, interpreted by François Chaplin or Erik Satie Gymnopédies, these are clear examples of how a piano can generate a sense of comfort in the mind over the course of 45 minutes, which takes us to the next part.
(Another instruments that can accompany this sense of comfort and induce relaxation and liberation from stress are the flute, the classical guitar and the violin. All of these instruments have in common that they can stand on their own and generate a musical progression without the need of support instruments on the back, although the piano is the suggested one by far more than all the others)
- Taking The Time.- The next and most important key aspect is for you to take the time to sit down and listen and focus on the music, you can make yourself a cup of tea (Coffee is not recommended as it alters the nervous system and makes you kick back with a boost of energy)
and turn off the lights or have a warm dimmed light that is not directly facing you (This is important as it is processed by your brain as if it was a day light and tells your body to remain awake as it is not time to sleep yet due to the excessive light consumption your eyes are processing)
- Scale.- The scale In which the musical piece is written is also of upmost importance as it dictates a mood, a happy melody which is related to a major key will generate a sense of energy and upbringing, while this is good for even battling depression we want to focus on minor scale songs which set a gloomy, dark and sometimes sad feeling environment, which are in fact more calm and help the brain to enter a state of trance with more ease.
- Volume.- Loud music is the worst for your brain! We want to focus on keeping a healthy amount of volume (especially if you are using headphones) which the ideal levels are between 20 -23 dB, if you do not know how to measure this you can find tutorial videos online on how to estimate the volume of a song, voice or pretty much anything.
Volume can also be one of the reasons that could be generating a difficult environment for you to sleep, specially if you live in a large scale city or zone where there is traffic as the volume levels usually exceed this 20 to 23 dB mark with ease.
If this is the case we suggest you use headphones that have the back closed, that aid in blocking the sound and have a cup shape in the ear pad (Make sure the ear pads are made from a soft material or your ears will warm up and cause discomfort)
The volume of an environment is one of the main reasons in today’s society for constant stress and difficulty focusing on tasks, your headphones can also help you isolate yourself, which makes them a great tool for not just listening to music but making your surroundings more silent.
These five key aspects determine if a song is really the best for relaxing and sleeping, a great playlist that features most and all of these elements is the following on Spotify:
Which are a collection of sad, calm piano songs for relaxing and sleeping.
Now, what are all the benefits behind resting and sleeping with a brain influenced by music? Let’s begin by discussing the general benefits of a good night sleep and how if you keep it up it can help fight many physical and emotional symptoms.
- Overthinking.- Overthinking is one of the main reasons one does not achieve a good level of rest, This is usually because there is a saturation on your mind on how your day went by and how it adds up with past days on tasks to do and how you will solve them.
Music helps break the cycle of overthinking and makes things a lot easier for your mind as it has a new, fresh thing to focus on that does not present a problem or requires solving of any kind, as this specific kind of music does not challenge the mind and goes at a speed it can keep up with ease and remain calm.
- Anxiety.- Anxiety is one of the most dangerous mental states and how it connects with the body aside from depression, not getting a proper sleep breaks the rest cycle needed for the body to withstand daily stress and this generates slowly symptoms that add up over the course of five to ten days, these symptoms can include, poor eyesight, faster heart beat, overthinking, emotional discomfort or drastic changes in mood, headaches, physical tiredness and even hand shaking, now, some of these symptoms are extreme cases they can present themselves little by little.
Music helps also to break this cycle as Anxiety is directly related to overthinking and depression over the course of days, per to say, it is a result of excessive over thinking and the beginning of a depression.
Around the world more and more people suffer of anxiety and many studies show that this is due to a true lack of sleep, it can be really hard nowadays to eight constant and peaceful hours of sleep with the world becoming more and more competitive.
- Fatigue.- Fatigue is a very common symptom from lack of sleep and can be accompanied by overthinking.
Fatigue can present itself visually and mentally (not being able to think clearly and what is commonly thought to be blurry thoughts and unclear ideas, or just a hard time focusing) but can also be a general physical symptom that many people ignore that can be easily fixed with a good night of sleep.
- Chronic Pain.- one of the most common problems behind not having a good night sleep is Chronic pain, this is specially notable in people who spend a lot of time sitting down in front of a computer or their job, and their back takes a large amount of stress or they do not have a proper posture while sitting down or walking.
During the sleep cycle, the body recovers from physical stress heavily and is oriented to a state of recovery that begins after the first two hours of deep sleep (which can only be achieved by falling asleep in a state of relaxation)
To begin the process of how we will use the playlist we want to start by mentioning that you need to be in a space that is quiet and you will not be distracted as you will need a time between forty five to sixty minutes to use the playlist and listen to it before bed.
The best thing you can do with this playlist is to simply lay down or sit in a comfortable space where your body is at rest with headphones on and slowly control your breathing, gather your thoughts and focus deeply on how the music progresses and how each song sounds.